Foundation of Parramatta
Parramatta was founded in 1788 by Governor Arthur Phillip as a western outlying farm colony of Sydney. Initially it was called Rose Hill and was renamed Parramatta, an Aboriginal word meaning “head of waters,” or “the place where eels lie down”, the year after it was proclaimed a town in 1790.It was incorporated as a municipality in 1861, became a city in 1938 and was expanded in 1948, 1959, and 1972 by the inclusion of surrounding centres.
Now Parramatta is a city within Sydney’s metropolitan area. It lies along the 15-mile or 24-km Parramatta River, which enters Port Jackson harbour. The Parramatta River Cat ferry takes passengers from Parramatta to Sydney along the River. The River Cat is a scenic and relaxing way to explore the waterways. Ferries are cheap and certainly a fast and pleasant way to travel all over Sydney. There are many pleasant places to eat, shop and even go to the theatre along the Parramatta River, not to mention stroll, fish or simply relax. Parramatta is famous for a wide variety of retail and dining options!
Parramatta has many historic buildings, including Elizabeth Farm (Built in 1793, it is the nation’s oldest surviving European building). Old Government House (Built in 1799, it is the oldest public building in Australia). Experiment Farm Cottage (Built in 1834 it is the site of the first land grant). Hambledon Cottage (Built in 1824 by John and Elizabeth Macarthur for Penelope Lucas, Governor to the Macarthur children.The Kings School (1832). As Parramatta is once again becoming a more important city centre and larger business buildings are being built, fascinating pieces of Parramatta’s past are being literally unearthed. In the foyer of some of the new buildings you will see glass around what was discovered and in the Justice Precinct you will find the remains of the earliest convict hospitals on display. The Parramatta Visitor Information Centre can tell you more about where to find these or for more information visit www.parracity.nsw.gov.au
Parramatta & District Historical Society
Family History Group meeting on first Saturday each month at 1.30pm in Hambledon Coach House, Gregory Place, Parramatta. Ample parking and everyone welcome.
Enquiries Kerry 9896-3321, Jan 9683-7645
For more information visit http://www.parramattahistorical.org.au/